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The SRC Kawasaki clinches the victory at the Bol d’Or

15/04/12 - 18:53

just infront of the SERT and Monster Energy Yamaha YART

An intense dual between the SRC Kawasaki and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team took place for the majority of the race. The official Kawasaki Team won with the tinniest of margins, 1’41” in front of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team after 781 laps in very challenging and treacherous conditions due to changing conditions.

The Kawasaki equipped by Pirelli, victor of the 2011 edition clinches its first victory since 1997 with Julien de Costa, Gregory Leblanc and Olivier Four. A second place for the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team could seem like a mixed result. However riding for 19 hours with only two riders is somewhat an amazing performance. Anthony Delhalle and Fabien Forêt crossed the line without their team-mate, Vincent Philippe, injured with a fractured collarbone after 5 hours into the race on a wet track.

A great result also for the Monster Energy Yamaha YART. After a hot fight, Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani took all the risks to grab hold of the third position from another R1 fitted with Michelin tyres, the Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube.

A disappointing first round for David Checa, Kenny Foray and Matthieu Lagrive. “We had a great race but we didn’t find the level of competitiveness with our motorcycle.” explains Christophe Guyot, team manager of the official French Yamaha.

The Yamalube Folch Endurance on Pirelli make the top five with Dani Ribalta, Anthony dos Santos and Arturo Tizon ahead of the astonishing Kawasaki 3D Endurance, winner of the Supertock class after a tense battle with the BMW of the Kraftwerk The Superstock podium is completed by the Suzuki Strateam 67. The Yamaha DG Sport Herock is fourth, the Suzuki Atomic MotoSport finish fifth.

Showers spoiled the 24 hours race. The Honda TT Legends, well placed during the first part of the race crossed the line in ninth spot (6th in EWC) after an impressive crash.

The race was short run for the BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent. Fourth during a difficult free practice even though they destroyed both machines in crashes. They started the race in third position but had to abandon very early on due to another crash of Damian Cudlin.

Riders quoted:

Julien da Costa, SRC Kawasaki rider, praises the Suzuki Team.
“The all amazed us clocking up the fast laps. They never gave up.”

Gilles Stafler, SRC Kawasaki team manager.
“This victory was totally unexpected. We hope that it allow us to race the whole championship.”

Gregory Leblanc, SRC Kawasaki rider
“My role was to ensure good times on a dry track. When the rain came back, we sent out our ‘wet condition’ specialist, Olivier Four.

Anthony Delhalle, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team rider
“When I heard that Vincent was injured, I concentrated on my relays without thinking that there was another 22 hours to go between the two of us.”

Vincent Philippe, the injured Suzuki Endurance Racing Team rider
“It is just amazing what Anthony Delhalle et Fabien Forêt did. They have such an impressive physical condition.”

Fabien Forêt, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team rider
For 24 hours I didn’t think about the FIM Superport World Championship but considering the difficult conditions, I always kept a security margin. »

Dominique Meliand, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, team manager
“We are all fighters. I am disappointed for Vincent who was unable to battle but I want to thank my two warriors who gave it their all, as well as Dunlop that really helped us.”

The next round of the FIM Endurance World Championship will be held in Qatar for the 8 hours of Doha.

Overall classification

Photos FIM/Good-Shoot

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